Vertical Adds Tezuka's Adolf, Sakuran, 5 cm/s Manga

posted on by Egan Loo
Historical tales by "God of Manga" & Hataraki Man's Anno, plus manga of Makoto Shinkai's film

The North American manga publisher Vertical announced at its New York Comic Con panel on Friday that it will release Osamu Tezuka's Message to Adolf (Adolf ni Tsugu), Moyoco Anno's Sakuran, and Makoto Shinkai's 5 Centimeters per Second manga.

Message to Adolf follows three Adolfs in the 1930s — one all too well-known in history, and two others whose fate were intertwined with the more famous Adolf. Reporter Toge Sohei goes to Germany for the Berlin Olympic Games, but discovers that someone has killed his brother there. Sohei learns that his brother was killed because he sent a document with a secret about Adolf Hitler. Back in Japan, Wolfgang Kauffmann of Kobe's German Consulate is searching for the document. Kauffmann's son Adolf wants to become a hard-line supporter of Hitler. However, Adolf Kauffmann's best friend, a Jewish-German boy named Adolf Kamil, is disgusted by Nazi Germany's vitriol against people of his faith.

Although Tezuka is best known for such children's classics as Astro Boy (Mighty Atom) and Kimba the White Lion (Jungle Emperor), "The God of Manga" also explored complex adult themes in Message to Adolf and other works. Viz's Cadence Books imprint published Adolf ni Tsugu under the name Adolf: A Tale of the Twentieth Century a decade ago, but Vertical will feature a new translation and cover by Peter Mendelsund. The first of Vertical's two hardcover volumes is tentatively slated for next August for US$26.95, followed by the second volume three months later.

With Sakuran, Moyoco Anno (Hataraki Man, Sugar Sugar Rune, Happy Mania) offers a unique take on Japan's oft-written but little understood courtesans. The story follows Kiyoha, a rebellious girl in a brothel who is sold and put under the care of a courtesan. Kiyoha rises through the ranks of an Edo-era noble household with her spunk and tenacity.

The manga inspired a live-action film starring pop singer Anna Tsuchiya (Kamikaze Girls' Ichigo, singing voice for NANA television series' Nana Osaki). Vertical plans to release the one volume next July for US$14.95, but the price is not final.

Yukiko Seike drew the manga adaptation of Shinkai's celebrated 5 Centimeters per Second anime film in Kodansha's Monthly Afternoon magazine last year. Vertical will tentatively release the manga in one volume next June for US$18.95. Crunchyroll streamed the film and released it on DVD in conjunction with Bandai Entertainment.

Update: More information added.

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